The main gist of Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” article is that with all of the new technologies in our generation, our attention spans are gradually decreasing because of the amount of technologies surrounding us. Carr mentions all of these researchers who claim that it’s very difficult for them to deeply read an article or a book nowadays because of the new technologies distracting them, and that it forces them to skim and bounce around the readings. I’m not sure how much new technologies have influenced our attention spans to become much shorter, but I don’t think that Google, as Carr says, is making us more stupid. It’s all just a change in our attention spans, and I think we have adjusted really well to the change new technologies has had when we read something. It makes sense because 50 years ago, if you read an article that was just about one thing, you didn’t have anywhere else to look for another article related to a similar subject, except for the library. But the problem with that is because if you wanted to find another article or book, it required time for you to stop reading and look for a similar article among the massive collections of articles and books. With the technologies we have currently, there are so many articles related to one subject and new technologies makes it so much easier to bounce around and find another article if we don’t like the first one we read. Sure, our attention spans our shorter, but if we understand what the article is talking about, I’m not too concerned about the “stupidity” we’re developing from Google. If anything, I think it makes us smarter because of our adapted ability to look for various topics we enjoy to read.
I don’t think I disagreed with one thing Clay Shirky mentioned in his “Does the Internet Make You Smarter?” article. Throughout the article, Shirky basically emphasizes that throughout all of history, ranging from movable type to the Internet, humans have gradually and continuously adapted to the new forms of writing and technologies we have been presented with. The printing press led to religious revolutions across Europe, which eventually led to eras of literature movements, which eventually led to the new technologies we are spoiled with today. Throughout all of this, humans have increasingly developed new thoughts that spread to more and more people. This is essentially the same concept going on today. With the Internet, as I mentioned in the first paragraph, we have the ability to research millions of writers, articles, books, scientific journals, etc. at the click of the mouse or laptop pad. People did not have this luxury even 25-30 years ago. Another key factor Shirky mentioned was that in the ’80s, our main resource of information was TV and with less people reading books. New technologies have changed that significantly.